Featured Colleague — Shauna Anstey

shauna-anstey-fc-groveBy Joy S. Jones

With Valencia’s 45th Annual Commencement just five days away, Shauna Anstey, assistant director of conferencing and college events, is still hammering away at the details to make sure the event goes off without a hitch.

“Shauna is the consummate event planner/manager. She takes time to understand the purpose and desired outcomes of an event before she begins planning, which ensures that attendees enjoy a meaningful experience. Nowhere is this more evident than her work with commencement,” says Amy Bosley, vice president of organizational development and human resources and Shauna’s manager. “Her focus on making the day special for our graduates and their families guides every decision she makes in planning a memorable event.”

Shauna touches everything “commencement”— the who, what, when, where and why — and relishes working with the many departments collegewide who come together to make it a reality.

First, there’s the script and identifying which scholarships will be recognized and the students who will receive them. There are details pertaining to the distinguished graduate and his family members, making sure they have tickets and  good seats. She keeps track of the alumni and honor students, the platform party consisting of campus presidents and Board of Trustees, ensuring they’re there in the right place at the right time and have their scripts.

And at Heritage Park — the massive load-in including the sound, lighting and stage equipment that will take place very likely from eight in the morning until eight at night — Shauna will be right there in the background directing, putting out the occasional fire and ensuring that everything is going smoothly and according to plan.

“She remains calm and collected, regardless of what last-minute issue comes her way and is able to solve problems on the spot,” Amy continued.

“While I’m making sure that everyone has what they need and gets parked in the correct lots, I know that the deeper meaning is in the stories of the graduates. I wonder about each person’s story that got them there and just how many family members and friends had to pitch in and help the graduates get to class and across the stage,” Shauna shares and notes that commencement remains the highlight event of each year.

Shauna began her career at Valencia 12 years ago as an assistant coordinator in conferencing. In 2005, she was promoted to manager to oversee college events in what was then known as the College and Community Relations department.

Today, the conferencing and events functions are merged and the newly-tooled department provides support to the College in the way of signature conferences, namely the Community College Conference on Legal Issues and the Community College Conference on Learning Assessment.

“It allows us to showcase the work we do and bring in national speakers. And by putting on conferences ourselves, our faculty and staff are able to attend sessions and save the College money.”

On the events side, the team coordinates commencement, nurse pinnings, tenure receptions and other non-reoccurring occasions like new building openings, ground breakings and the occasional presidential visit.

“I really like working with so many different groups and people around the College. It’s a real gift to get to delve a little bit into the work they’re doing, all while working alongside a dedicated and caring team in Conferencing and College Events.”

Handling lots of details simultaneously comes relatively easy for Shauna who has spent her career in event planning for the past 20 years. She honed her skills opening Universal Studios and at Give Kids the World.

Both on and off the job, Shauna shares that her life is all about managing the details. And she is the picture of work-life integration. If there’s any wonder, setting goals and finishing strong is a theme that’s woven throughout her score.

“I’m married with two kids who are very involved in sports, so everything is a big juggling act,” she ribs. To keep things in perspective and balance, Shauna is an avid racer and triathlete.

Her typical morning starts at 4 a.m. on days that she swims and at 6 a.m. when she runs. On average, she puts in eight to 18 training hours a week and has kept that pace for the past 10 years.

Inspired by an Ironman race she saw on TV while in high school, she set her sights on completing the endurance challenge by her 40th birthday. And she did so in her thirty-ninth year. To date, she’s completed two and is working on completing a third Ironman later this year.

“Racing is my outlet. You discover how mentally tough you are. You figure out just how far you’re willing to push yourself and still hang in there. In some ways, that’s how I relate to our students. They’ve not made the journey alone. There are people right there with them supporting them along the way. It’s all about staying focused and making it across the finish line. And there’s nothing you can’t do if you really want it badly enough.”

A Florida native, Shauna graduated from West Orange High in Winter Garden, took classes at Valencia and graduated from UCF with a degree in advertising, public relations and journalism.

Know of someone doing great work at the College, who has been an employee for one year or more? Send the colleague’s name to us at The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu so he or she can be one of our featured colleagues.

3 Comments

  • Amy Bosley said:

    So great to see you featured, Shauna! I am lucky to get to work with you :). Looking forward to Saturday!

    PMTue, 29 Apr 2014 21:17:04 +0000Tue, 29 Apr 2014 21:17:04 +0000pm14,9:17 pm

  • Janice Swanson said:

    Shauna, You are so deserving of this recognition. It is so great to work with you.

    AMWed, 30 Apr 2014 09:24:32 +0000Wed, 30 Apr 2014 09:24:32 +0000am14,9:24 am

  • Michael Maguire said:

    You're a consummate professional and a pleasure to work with. Kudos to you, Shauna!

    AMThu, 01 May 2014 09:33:42 +0000Thu, 01 May 2014 09:33:42 +0000am14,9:33 am

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